Cascadia Bulletin from Leslie Ford

Cascadia Bulletin – October 15, 2002 [The Cascadia Bulletin was a routine all-staff paper and email message]

Decisions about our reduction in force are being made as quickly as possible, while being balanced against the need to make careful choices. I thought it would be helpful to outline our process in making these cuts.

I wanted to first form the new leadership team so those individuals could put together effective management and line staff teams. To that end, we began with the selection of four Regional Directors who have the responsibility for leading us forward. They had to select six Site Program Directors who they were confident understood what was needed, and had the skills, knowledge, resources, and willingness to do what was necessary. That same thinking was used as managers were selected and together, the managers and directors are determining which line staff can best adapt to our new model.

Some positive factors which we anticipate from the reorganization are:

  • Having a more consolidated budget for sites
  • Leaner management and administrative structure
  • Sharpened focus to our clinical work
  • Each site will be under one Site Program Director, who can understand the complex systemic issues at that site, as well as the role of that site within the system
  • Some of our current leaders have been shifted to focus on particular areas of expertise

Some sites will be closed as a consolidation and cost-cutting measure. This was done after evaluating factors including convenience for clients, type of service provided, geographic range, and lease cost. The timeline for the moves has not been firmly set—as you may imagine this is a major logistical problem—but we anticipate that most moves will be finalized by the end of November. More details will be forthcoming on this front.

Attached to this Bulletin is an organizational chart with names filled in to the Program Director level. Manager names are not included at this time since not every decision has been finalized. You will note that all service elements at each major site fall under the supervision of one Site Program Director.

It is always painful to have to eliminate positions, and no doubt in the upcoming weeks we will be thinking about friends and colleagues who are no longer working for the organization. For financial reasons as well as to minimize the period of uncertainty, I am committed to holding to October 21st as the notification date so that we can collect ourselves and move forward as quickly as possible to create the kind of system our community is requiring.

[signed] Leslie Ford, CEO

To: Cascadia Administration
From: Leslie Ford
Date: October 15, 2002

The last several weeks have been an intense, difficult experience for us all. We have had to absorb and react to a disappointing financial picture with very little lead time. The management team including Regional Directors, Program Directors, and many others have worked long hours to craft a plan to carry us through this cycle. Today, we are close to having a balanced budget for an organization that looks very different than it did at the start of this fiscal year (see attached clinical organizational chart).

In order to accomplish this we have developed plans to increase revenue by $1.8 million, reduced indirect, facility, and administrative costs by $1.6 million, and we will reduce staff costs (both administrative and clinical) by an additional $3.1 million. Overall, we have reduced our costs by 10.7%, and as a percentage of the overall budget, administrative costs have dropped by 9.25%. This means that this month 118 staff have been notified that their jobs with Cascadia have been eliminated. Some savings came from resignations and vacancies, but the majority were cuts.

It is important that those who are leaving and those who have been transferred know that this is about systemic shifts and shortfalls, and all they have contributed is valued. For those who are leaving, I hope that “one door closes and another opens” is proven true once again. Those who had their positions changed and those whose positions are essentially unchanged will struggle with new difficulties and rewards, as well as missing old friends and colleagues.

This is a time of many challenges. The hard part is focusing on the opportunities and the chances we have to grow. We can take pride in the lives we have improved, or even saved. I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard. Know that I appreciate all you have done and wish you well as we begin the process of moving forward.